This past weekend, I drove up to Hanoi Friday afternoon and took care of some things I can’t do in Nam Dinh and visited a few friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Saturday morning I continued to drive around on my motorbike, running errands and along the way I took some photos.

After that, I drove another 100km south through Ninh Bình State to get to Tam Coc to go swimming and passed by Thanh Thang Palace. The future private residence for a local billionaire, this building is an opulent cathedral to ones wealth. The two front buildings are 5 stories each and the main building behind would have to be at least double that size. When coming from the north you can see it from about a kilometre away. The interior is still under construction so there is no one currently living in the building, just a few guards in the gatehouse to shoo away foreigners.

The next day in the morning, back in Nam Dinh, I went for a ride with a friend, going to little tea spots in the farmland, playing a game of cards at each stop along the way.

To start the day we went to this war memorial after having hủ tiếu for breakfast.

These next photos are from a trip to Ninh Binh about six months earlier, when I drove north of the city to come across these huge residence emulating European architecture. Very much like Thanh Thang Palace these homes are all so baroque and bourgeois and over the top for private residence. It doesn’t make sense that such things happen in this country.

Buried at the bottom of this post, I would like to let these that kept reading up to this point know that within two months I will start doing weekly print, clothing and item drops of the Species of Tree series. There will be more news on this soon.